Not the end of the story.

Our church put out an Advent devotional this year, and today was my day.

Hebrews 2:10-18

I once knew a guy who said that every year in the last few days before Christmas, he would read the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ last week on earth to remind himself of Christ’s purpose in coming here. I thought of that, reading these verses, about how important it is to keep the crucifixion and resurrection in mind as we are singing Christmas carols and putting out the crèche, that the miracle of the Incarnation is not the end of the story.

Every year during Lent (at other times, too, but especially during Lent), I try to remember that, as these verses say, Jesus came and suffered and is able to help us as we are being tempted. That he was like us in every way, and that we can bring our struggles before him. That he understands and will not reject us. That he is not ashamed of us, despite our faults. The Incarnation means not only that Jesus came here to earth as a child but also that he lived here just as we do, as the song says, “Like a child born to pray and to show us the way, like a child here to stay, Jesus comes.” I am thankful to have a God who understands the struggles I experience because he actually walked this earth, and who, as the scripture says, by his life and death set us free from the power of death. It’s not just the birth and the death that are important – the life of Christ, the way he shared in our humanity for our sake, his teachings and example, are important, too. This year I’m trying to remember to focus on Jesus’ life not just at Lent, but also at Christmas, and at all the times in between.

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